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Old 08-05-2017, 07:57 AM
 
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I feel that western Essex County, western Union County, I believe much of Morris County (I don't know which parts I'm no expert on Morris County), Somerset, and Hunterdon County are part of NJ's wealth belt. I don't know if Middlesex County counts. Middlesex County feels very blue collar but I know you have places like Piscataway, Metuchen, and North Edison but they don't feel like the rest of the wealth belt. Then you have Mercer County places like the Princeton area but I honestly feel that the Princeton area is really its own thing. What do you all think?
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:15 PM
 
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There's no single "wealth belt". There's large wealthy areas plus small wealthy areas with a lot of less wealthy around it.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:09 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by homenj View Post
I feel that western Essex County, western Union County, I believe much of Morris County (I don't know which parts I'm no expert on Morris County), Somerset, and Hunterdon County are part of NJ's wealth belt. I don't know if Middlesex County counts. Middlesex County feels very blue collar but I know you have places like Piscataway, Metuchen, and North Edison but they don't feel like the rest of the wealth belt. Then you have Mercer County places like the Princeton area but I honestly feel that the Princeton area is really its own thing. What do you all think?
Piscataway is generally blue collar. I would not consider it to be a wealthy town.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:48 PM
 
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The concept of an NJ 'wealth belt' was originally proffered by Rutgers scholars in the late 90s referring to Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, northern Middlesex, Mercer, and Monmouth counties. Essentially, these were areas touched by the completion of 287 and the explosion of development around Rt. 1 near Princeton. The spread of office complexes, malls, and new housing to these areas indicated a shift in economic gravity away from the built-out core of Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Union counties.

20 years later, I'm not sure the term is applicable as originally defined. I don't think any of the original wealth belt regions are necessarily distressed, but they don't seem as dynamic as they once were, given the decline of malls, office parks, and McMansion living. If I had to define a wealth belt today I'd say it centers on the desirable rail lines like the Morris Essex and Northeast Corridor. Western Essex (South Orange, Maplewood, Motnclair, Millburn) seem popular. The area around Princeton still seems strong. The other contender would be the Gold Coast.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
There's no single "wealth belt". There's large wealthy areas plus small wealthy areas with a lot of less wealthy around it.
Yes. Different sized circles on the map.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:26 AM
 
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Although there are wealthy "islands" throughout the state, I guess the wealthy belt would be the Morris-Somerset-Hunterdon region? It is the only area in the state I can think of that has uninterrupted wealth with poor areas a good distance away.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:48 PM
 
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Bergen County was never included on the "wealth belt"?
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervaPallasAthena View Post
Bergen County was never included on the "wealth belt"?
Bergen County is more like a wealth island. You have old industrial working class areas in the southern portion of the county like Garfield and South Hackensack. Not to mention places like Paterson and Passaic a stone's throw away. The wealthy parts get interrupted and they become an island, not necessarily a "belt".
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM
 
Location: "The Falls"
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I wouldn't necessarily consider Northern Middlesex to be any wealthier than Southern Middlesex. If anything I think the southern half is nicer. Piscataway is lower middle class. Some nice areas, but Plainfield has an anchor on it. Same with South Plainfield, though I never hear about as much spillover there as in the former. Metuchen and Highland Park are very well off, as well as parts of Edison and Woodbridge (esp Colonia estates). Southern Middlesex is mostly upper middle class suburban development - North, South, East Brunswick and Monroe - with Plainsboro and Cranbury being very affluent. Sayreville and Old Bridge are big and sprawling, mostly middle to lower middle class, with pockets of upper middle class spread throughout. Then you have some old small towns that are working class scattered between these - South River, Milltown, Spotswood, Helmetta, Jamesburg and South Amboy. Then Perth Amboy and New Brunswick are the two urban areas in the county which are probably safer than most other inner cities in the state.

In Mercer County, you have Princeton, and West Windsor which shares a school district with Plainsboro in Middlesex County. Then Hopewell/Pennington/Titusville is the big wealthy suburb of Trenton. Trenton is inner city, unsafe. All the towns that border it - Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Ewing - suffer from a spillover effect, and are otherwise middle class areas. Then you have East Windsor which is also middle class with Hightstown boro - on par with places like South River, Spotswood etc - as its donut hole, and the same school district so it drags it down. Robbinsville is probably the most "reasonable" place in Mercer by default.

Union and Essex are sorta split between. The west sides are affluent while the east sides are poor inner city. Somerset has a handfull of places too that are working class - Manville, Somerville, North Plainfield, Bound Brook, South Bound Brook - as well as the area of Franklin Twp known as Somerset that is very rundown and gets spillover from New Brunswick and hasn't gotten any better with the NB gentrification.
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Old Yesterday, 11:30 PM
 
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Middlesex might have some pockets of money but it's just middle class, feels dirty and the people there appear undesirable.
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